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Plymouth Public Library Forum Presents History of Jazz Lecture & Performance Series

History of Jazz Music Lecture & Performance Series Presented by the Plymouth Public Library In collaboration with the Spire Center for Performing Arts. History of Jazz at the Plymouth Public Library with jazz lecture from WGBH Eric in the Evening, Eric Jackson.

On September 19th, music performance was provided by John Clark and Henry Francis Duo, on October Johnny Souza Band with Johnny Souza on trumpet, Dino Govoni on saxophone, Tim Ray on pinao, Bruce Gertz on bass and Yoron Israel and drums. The coming one will be set on December 4th, withmusic performance by the Pianist Sam Harris. Plymouth Public Library, Fehlow Room, Main Library, 132 South Street, Plymouth, MA.

This series is intended to provide attendees with not only world-class jazz performances, but also a supporting lecture which will unveil the story behind the music. How did this music evolve? Who were the people driving this evolution? Those questions and more will be answered, providing our attendees with a unique perspective on the history of Jazz in America. The series was developed in collaboration between the Plymouth Public Library and the Spire Center for Performing Arts.

Jazz History Lecture by Eric Jackson

Jazz History Lecture for this series is Eric Jackson. Eric began hosting a weekly radio show on WGBH 89.7 FM in the fall of 1975. For over 30 years now, as host of “Jazz with Eric in the Evening” (recently renamed Jazz on WGBH with Eric Jackson), the “Dean of Boston Jazz Radio,” as Jackson is widely regarded, has presented listeners with a mix of the well established artists along with upcoming jazz talent. He has aired over 3,000 interviews with most of the biggest names in jazz, from Dizzy Gillespie to the Marsalis family. Jackson also has been recognized by the Massachusetts College of Art as one of the “100 most culturally influential Bostonians of the 20th century,” and by The Berklee College of Music for “advancing careers in music.” Additionally, in 2006, Cambridge City Council acknowledged Jackson’s extensive knowledge of music through radio broadcasts and lectures, naming him an official “Cultural Ambassador for the Arts.” An active promoter of jazz throughout New England and across the country, Jackson has lectured at Simmons and Wheelock Colleges and is currently a member of the Northeastern University faculty, teaching The African American Experience through Music each semester. He has lectured at The Leeds Conservatory in England and Boston’s New England Conservatory and the Peabody- Essex Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts as well as the Museum of African American History in Boston. Additionally, he was instrumental in developing exhibits for the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

Monday September 19th – The “20’s through the 30’s”

Music Performance by the Henry Francis/John Clark Duo Pianist Henry “thins” Francis and Woodwind Specialist John Clark will perform musical selections from the 20’s and 30’s to include Dixieland, Ragtime and favorites by Artists including: W.C. Handy, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Django Reinhardt. Henry has been for many years one of the leading practitioners of the stride piano genre. John Clark has a PhD in musicology from Brandeis University. John has played with numerous other traditional jazz bands (such as the New Black Eagle Jazz Band), and several big swing bands. Supporting Lecture on this era of music by Eric Jackson.

Monday October 24th – The “40’s through the 60’s”

Music Performance by the Johnny Souza Quintet. Trumpeter/Vocalist Johnny Souza leads his quintet through a performance of musical selections from the 40’s through the 60’s featuring Bebop, Cool, Hard Bop and Soul by Artists including: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Art Blakey. Johnny’s band includes: Dino Govoni/Saxophone – Dino, a Berklee Professor and specialist in bebop and modern jazz, is an active freelance saxophonist and has performed with the Four Tops, the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Randy Brecker, Larry Goldings and the Boston Pops (with Anita Baker). Tim Ray/Piano – Perhaps best known as long-time pianist for Lyle Lovett, Tim has performed in concert with an extensive list of pop music icons, notably Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Jane Siberry and Soul Asylum. He regularly performs with leading figures in the jazz world, among them Gary Burton, Esperanza Spalding, Phil Woods, Scott Hamilton, Dave Douglas, Brian Blade, Lewis Nash and Rufus Reid. Bruce Gertz/Bass – Bruce is also a long time Berklee Professor and has performed with Bob Berg, George Cables, Billy Eckstine, Gil Evans, Maynard Ferguson, Bill Frisell, Tom Harrell, John Hendricks, Joe Lovano and Diane Schuur among others. Yoron Israel/Drums – Yoron is currently the Assistant Chair and Professor of Percussion at Berklee. Yoron is one of the industry’s most in-demand drummers and has performed with Kenny Burrell, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Abbey Lincoln, Ahmad Jamal, Benny Golson, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutchinson, Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Heath, Cedar Walton, Grover Washington, Freddie Cole, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Pharoah Sanders, David “Fathead” Newman, Red Holloway, Larry Coryell, Kevin Mahogany, Roy Hargrove, Cyrus Chestnut and Joshua Redman among others! Supporting Lecture on this era of music by Eric Jackson.

Monday December 5th – The “70’s through the current era”

Music Performance by the Pianist Sam Harris. Pianist Sam Harris grew up in Dallas, Texas. He studied classical piano with Janet Jones and competed regularly on the local and statewide level. While attending Booker T. Washington High School for the Arts, he discovered jazz and began taking lessons with local piano legend Bill Lohr. In 2004, he moved to New York, where he currently resides, and has since been busy performing in bands led by artists such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Ben Van Gelder, Logan Richardson, Roman Filiu, Gretchen Parlato, and Rudy Royston. He has appeared at venues and festivals in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Supporting Lecture on this era of music by Eric Jackson.

The Spire Center for Performing Arts

The Greater Plymouth Performing Arts Center, Inc. (GPPAC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010, dedicated to performing arts and educational programs, supporting the vibrant arts community in the greater South Shore region. The organization founded The Spire Center for Performing Arts in downtown Plymouth, MA, a town-owned venue to serve as a mecca for the arts, dedicated to showcasing music, theatre and dance performances, and arts education appealing to all generations from across the Southeastern Massachusetts region. The Spire’s 225-seat performance hall features superior acoustics, custom state of the art lighting and sound systems and original period architectural details, offering patrons an exceptional performing arts experience. The historic 3-story building resides in the epicenter of America’s Hometown, where the growing arts vibe infuses the historical and cultural district with creativity year-round. The Spire Center features jazz programming year round. Monthly Jazz Concerts are produced by Spire Board member Johnny Souza and feature some of the country’s leading artists. The Spire Center also hosts “Open Jazz & Blues Jam Sessions” in their lobby bar twice per month. Visit the Spire Center’s website for more information





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